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Editorial: Adjourned with huge hopes at Doha

The longest ever session of peace talks between US Special representative Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad and Taliban Political office at Doha concluded with big hopes and too much claims made from both sides. Now both sides, especially Dr. Zalmay Khalilzad is embarked on trips back to Washington, Kabul and other countries for taking what he called other “partners” into confidence. Announcing conclusion of the longest phase of talks with Taliban, the US Special Envoy Khalilzad in tweet messages remarked, “Just finished a marathon round of talks with the Taliban in Doha. The conditions for peace have improved. It’s clear all sides want to end the war. Despite ups and downs, we kept things on track and made real strides.” He further states, “Peace requires agreement on four issues; counter-terrorism assurances, troop withdrawal, intra-Afghan dialogues, and a comprehensive ceasefire. In January talks, we “agreed in principle” on these four elements. We’re now “agreed in draft” on the first two.” And according to Ambassador Khalilzad, “Intra Afghan dialogues will begin for a political settlement and comprehensive ceasefire when the agreement in draft about a withdrawal timeline and effective counterterrorism measures is finalized.” Taliban spokesperson has endorsed Ambassador Khalilzad by saying, “this round of talks saw extensive and detailed discussions taking place regarding two issues that were agreed upon during January talks. Those two issues were the withdrawal of all foreign  forces from Afghanistan and preventing anyone from harming others from Afghan soil; how and when will all foreign forces exit Afghanistan and through what method? Similarly, how will the United States and her allies be given assurances about future Afghanistan.” However, Taliban have denied ceasefire with US or Afghan government as reported by media. Whatever might be intentions and reaction of some of militant’s mentors and sponsors who suit fuelling tensions and hostilities in Afghanistan but one thing is very clear-shift in Taliban leadership mind. Now Doha talks proved that Taliban leaders also wants peace and end to fighting but they making their best for making safe and sound their future in the already existing political process in Afghanistan. Couple of weeks back, Taliban leadership have been encouraged by other fellow leaders headed by ex-President Hamid Karzai at Moscow. Now both the sides are making arrangements for embarking on the main agenda of “intra Afghan dialogues” which might help them in sorting out all issues pertained to future destiny of Afghanistan and its people who were badly affected by imposed wars, hostilities, terror and violence. These war affected Afghans are attaching great hopes with the US brokered peace talks at Doha and considering it last hope for peace and tranquility in the war-torn motherland. US high ups are desirous for an end to fighting in Afghanistan as it badly affects its diplomatic and political efforts in the region. Secondly, recent developments specially Taliban leadership reluctance of flying to Islamabad and Riyadh of shaking hands and meeting Saudi Prince is confirm shift in policies of Taliban who at once stated “depending in Pakistan.” Before of Prince Muhammad Bin Salman’s trip to Islamabad in previous February, the Taliban leadership has also refused to reach in Islamabad and talk to Ambassador Khalilzad. An end to its dependency in Pakistan, Taliban leadership seems to be in a position of resolving the decade’s long conflict through intra-Afghan dialogues in according to rich traditions.

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